Fujitsu, NEC and NTT in optical R&D pact

  • Joint R&D for top-level, 400Gbps-class optical transmission technology
  • To deliver optical networks that are energy efficient and flexible

Fujitsu, NEC and NTT in optical R&D pactFUJITSU Limited, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and NEC Corporation have announced a joint research and development (R&D effort toward making the world’s top-level, 400Gbps/channel-class digital coherent optical transmission technology.

Bringing together the technological capabilities that have enabled the commercialization of 100Gbps-class optical transmissions methods, which are becoming more prevalent among the world’s optical networks, the companies will work to further enhance the performance and functionality of the digital coherent optical transmissions method, a key technology in optical transmissions.

This enables the possibility of realizing the world’s top-level optical networks that combine ultra-high speeds, low energy consumption and flexibility, while also contributing to improvements in optical transmissions technology and the global spread of the research results, the trio said in a statement.

This R&D initiative was commissioned and is sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) as part of the “Research and Development Project for the Ultra-high Speed and Green Photonic Networks” program.

To accommodate the explosive growth in data communications traffic stemming from the spread of the Internet and smartphones in recent years, 100Gbps-class optical transmission methods are starting to become more practical, the companies said.

At the same time, with the arrival of the big data era, along with a surge in the diversity of data due to the spread of machine-to-machine communications, customer expectations with regard to speed and service continue to grow.

Not only will data traffic in the near future grow at a rapid pace, but networks will also experience extremely large fluctuations in communications traffic, thereby resulting in a need to build flexible network infrastructure that can withstand such demand, they added.

To address these impending challenges, core optical networks will require even greater speeds. With existing optical transmission technology, however, it is difficult to ensure the optical transmission performance needed to meet this demand for higher speeds.

Moreover, existing communications equipment consumes a substantially higher amount of power in proportion to the amount of data transmitted. To enable high-capacity optical transmissions using relatively low power, a new optical transmissions solution is needed.

Building a flexible network architecture requires the ability to adapt, in real-time, to changes in data volumes and transmission distances. Therefore, great demand exists for the construction of highly flexible networks that can support regional differences in network architectures with a single core technology.

To meet these challenges, the three companies are aiming to build flexible, low-power networks in an effort to bring about a comfortable, eco-friendly society. As such, they are commencing research and development directed at implementing the core technologies required for these networks.
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